A new app called ‘Crushh’, launched on the 29th of April, aims at solving our anxiety around text messages by analysing them based on an algorithm, informing us how much the other person is interested and engaged in the relationship. The closer the score to 5, the more interested the other person is, whilst a 2.5 means you like/dislike each other equally. The logic behind this app is to replace human intuition, communication and uncertainty with an algorithm that can provide ‘hard facts’. On the surface, it may seem like a harmless gadget to ‘solve’ the problems of angsty teens (and adults). But is this really the answer to all our relationship anxiety? Or something more ominous?
Aside from the more practical flaws, such as that it only works on Android and only analyses SMS messages, this app promotes the dehumanization of personal relationships. Obviously, this has been happening ever since technology, especially the smartphone, was invented. But this app takes it that one step further. It monopolizes on the inherent insecurity we feel in any relationship, especially at the start.
Rather than relying on our basic human facilities to interpret the meanings in other people’s words and actions, this app encourages us to listen to an algorithm rather than our guts (or hearts). So many responsibilities are already outsourced to technology. I believed that emotions were the one field in which humans would always be viewed as experts. Clearly, this app is trying to inform me elsewise.
What is particularly terrifying is that it was aimed at teenagers. As Es Lee, the creator of Crushh, points out, the app would appeal to them as they have not yet mastered and understood their emotions. So instead of learning how to engage and interact with other people, they may now be learning to depend on an app for one of the most fundamental aspects of human society.
Unsurprisingly, all age groups expressed interest in the app. We have all felt the anxiety surrounding modern messaging systems and felt the fear of those two blue ticks not followed by a response. This app is trying to get us to rely on yet more technology to solve these issues. Yet rather than investing in new technology, we should trust our intuition and develop open communication with others.